Annales de paléontologie, 6-8, 1911 – 1913.
Originally published in four parts in Vols. 6-8 (1911-13) of the Annales de paléontologie. The La Chapelle-aux-Saints skeleton (La Chapelle-aux-Saints 1), discovered in 1908, was the most complete single Neanderthal skeleton found up to that time. The remains, now estimated to date from around 60,000 years BP, were of a male approximately 40 years old at the time of death, who had suffered from advanced arthritis, tooth loss and other ailments associated with old age. The skeleton, together with the stone tools and mammalian fossils found with it, were sent to Boule at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle for evaluation. "In November of that year , Boule announced the discovery of what was to become the 'type' skeleton for the Neandertals. In the next years, using La Chapelle as the centerpiece and supplementing this fossil with some bones from other French Neandertals . . . Boule published a magisterial series of works that became exemplars in the scientific community studying human evolution. As a result, La Chapelle became the archetype of the incompletely erect Neandertal slouching his way into evolutionary oblivion. Unfortunately, in his zeal to demonstrate how morphologically removed the Neandertals were from modern humans and how simian-like they were, Boule misrepresented many aspects of the La Chapelle skeleton" (Spencer 1997, 2, p. 266). Boule's errors of reconstruction were later corrected by Straus and Cave (1957), Dastague and de Lumley (1976) and Trinkaus (1985).
Subjects: EVOLUTION › Human Origins / Human Evolution